Go Take a WALK --- MBWA Today

By
Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Abbott Realtors

Take a Walk!

Get out of your seat. Push away from your desk. Put down the phone and...yes, stop hitting those keys on your phone or your computer.  I know. It is comfortable behind all that technology. It is all too easy to just send communications out and see where it lands later. It is easy to just leave a message either via text, email or via a phone message. It is easy to research, compile statistics and send reports via the internet often on deaf ears. Agents respond to email inquiries with text messages. Brokers send attachments to their agents blackberries giving them a pep-talk and sales statistics.

Success, especially today,  depends on face-to-face interaction between human beings. Trust is built by our relationships. And, relationships are built upon communications. True communications is a complex interaction of the spoken word, non-verbal cues of expression, active listening and a true exchange of ideas. Often, it takes many face-to-face interactions in order for the basis of communications and understanding to take place. Often, people do not say or write what they mean. Not because they are trying to hide their wants or needs...it is because they may not know what they want or they may not understand what they really need. Agents may not have scratched the surface of understanding of what the buyer or seller objectives really are.

In the 1940's, Dave Packard of Hewlett Packard, coined a management technique called, "management by walking around or mbwa." Ahead of it's time, this technique encourage executives to get out of their offices and cubicles into the workplace environment. This easy to do technique enable face-to-face communications including active listening, personal involvement and setting the organization goals --- together --- which ultimately ended up with business success. This personal involvement shed titles and managment levels, walls were literally removed from offices and true two way employee engagement took hold.

What does this mean for real estate brokers and agents?

1. Visit as many listings as possible.

It means you need to get out of your home or office. You need to interact with the marketplace in order to succeed. You need to see as many homes for sale as you possibly can --- not view the pictures on the net. You should see them up front, inside and outside. Towns differ, streets differ and homes differ. You need to experience the differences in order to communicate them to your buyers and you need to understand what is on the market in order to list homes effectively. Brokers and office managers so they can look beyond the statistics.

2. Brokers need to get in the trenches.

Brokers and managers should answer the phones when people call. What are people reading in the ads that are placed? Are the ads and media vehicles effective? Brokers and managers need to sit amongst the agents to understand --- what their real point of view may be. Brokers and managers need to visit homes and tour homes for sale. They should go on listing presentations from time to time.

3. Agents need to meet with their buyers and sellers regularly.

This is beyond the weekly call report or email. This should be a regularly scheduled meeting --- so that agents can hear, first hand, what the sellers needs are. In the case of a buyer --- if you are not with a buyer in person on a regular basis. They are not an "A" buyer and they may be visiting other agents and/or brokers.

4. Reduce Office Meetings.

This seems to fly in the face of the MBWA principle but...if you look at the format, weekly staff meetings are not effective. Management talking at agents with managements agenda --- is not particularly engaging. Weekly meetings should be in small groups with a specific goal or agenda in mind. They should be targeted at the level of the agent --- top producer vs new agent, for example. Group staff meetings could be held monthly to bring everyone together BUT even these meetings should have an agenda driven my the participants, not the other way around.

5. Walk the Walk.

Brokers and managers need to get in and around their agents. They should have an open door policy and they should, on a regular basis, sit where the agents sit. They should walk where the agents walk. Leading by example is by far the most powerful tool a leader has in her toolkit. Understanding where the calls are coming from by actually answering the phone --- give remarkable insight to the market.

6. TALK

Believe it or not... I am a technology fan but.... we have lost sight of personal, face-to-face talk time. It has become far to easy to just send out one way communications in the form of texts and emails --- without taking the time to talk with another person AND more importantly --- to LISTEN. Take time out. Make that call. Visit --- in person. Your business will take a remarkable turn for the better.

 

Comments (17)

Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

So true....I've had days where I'm so busy that I'm actually hoping a client will reschedule, now that's really stupid. :)

Apr 07, 2009 01:49 AM
Caren Wallace
Premier Property Group LLC - Tualatin, OR
Portland Caren Real Estate

Pamela, I agree with you completely, I try to talk to as many people as I can. How can they get that warm fuzzy feeling unless they meet you face to face!

Apr 07, 2009 01:53 AM
Amanda Wilson
EWM International Realtors, Inc. - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Real Estate Advisor

Great post...good reminder...face to face works!  Always communicate!

Apr 07, 2009 01:55 AM
Donald Wenner
Keller Williams Maplewood Mid-Town Direct - Florham Park, NJ

Good post, good advice.  People need that face to face time.  It is so much more personal than phone or email communication.

DW

Apr 07, 2009 01:57 AM
Pamela STETSON
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Abbott Realtors - Mahwah, NJ
I would love to help you buy or sell your home!

Hi Karen --- thanks for reading and for your comments. It is true --- we need that warm and fuzzy feeling again!

Apr 07, 2009 02:09 AM
Pamela STETSON
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Abbott Realtors - Mahwah, NJ
I would love to help you buy or sell your home!

Hello Caren --- two fuzzies in one reading! Thank you for your comments. I cannot believe that agents think they have buyers --- when they have never met. Only an email relationship....I hope we can change that...

Apr 07, 2009 02:11 AM
Pamela STETSON
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Abbott Realtors - Mahwah, NJ
I would love to help you buy or sell your home!

Hi Amanda --- thanks for reading! Yes, it does work. And, it creates relationships that last!

Apr 07, 2009 02:11 AM
Pamela STETSON
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Abbott Realtors - Mahwah, NJ
I would love to help you buy or sell your home!

Hello DW --- I hate that text msg relationship. Heck, I have a hard time reading the ABC's. Sometimes I make up my own words...hahaha..

Apr 07, 2009 02:12 AM
Scott White
Guarateed Rate, NMLS 2611 - Onalaska, WI
VP at Guaranteed Rate, NMLS 82835

You're absolutely right. I think that this message is true for any professional business. You don't meet new people sitting at your desk. I think that when you're planning your week you really need to carve some time out for visiting people. In my case I like to get out and meet Realtors, FISBO's, Insurance Agents, Title Companies; basically anyone who may be related to my business and who may be able to keep my name fresh. If you aren't taking the time to get out and meet new people you are probably not going to be able to keep fresh leads walking through the door.

Apr 07, 2009 02:34 AM
Steve Chaisson
Keller Williams - Nashville, TN

Ok I am leaving to meet a client at Starbucks!

Apr 07, 2009 02:40 AM
Tony & Darcy Cannon
Aubrey and Associates Realty - Layton, UT
The C Team

Pamela, great advice!  I think that is something I will need to (at least for my part) implement.  Get out and talk to people face to face!

Apr 07, 2009 02:44 AM
Omega Omega
Omega - Glendale, CA

Morning Pam - came across your Blog.  That's the type of advice or kick in the butt we.......I mean I need.

Solid advice and basic 101.  Thanks for posting.

Cheers

Apr 07, 2009 03:08 AM
Pamela STETSON
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Abbott Realtors - Mahwah, NJ
I would love to help you buy or sell your home!

Hi Scott --- thanks for your comments! I try to get out into the other "real world", too. A couple times a week I volunteer at a local school or at the senior center. I do this routinely so that people know me, know my face and ultimately, they know what I can do to help them.... thanks for reading... P

Apr 11, 2009 01:22 AM
Pamela STETSON
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Abbott Realtors - Mahwah, NJ
I would love to help you buy or sell your home!

Hey Steve --- Hope the coffee was great! Meeting at a local eatery is a great idea and it shows the local business that you bring customers to them --- why not --- recommend you! Do this routinely and see --- what happens. Good luck and happy selling.

Apr 11, 2009 01:23 AM
Pamela STETSON
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Abbott Realtors - Mahwah, NJ
I would love to help you buy or sell your home!

Tony and Darcy --- thanks for reading and for your comments. Yes, it is great to get out and about. Try going to the same place, same time for a couple of weeks. Volunteer! It works wonders and it helps people get to know you and what you do. At the same time, it helps the local community. All the best to you this year.

Apr 11, 2009 01:29 AM
Pamela STETSON
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Abbott Realtors - Mahwah, NJ
I would love to help you buy or sell your home!

Thanks for the thumbs up --- Omega Capital. And, best to you this year.

Apr 11, 2009 01:30 AM
Anonymous
Christina

Pamela  - you are right on !  In one of my face-to-face meetings with my manager she said the same thing.  She told me I need to get out there and talk to people more.  I went back to the basics and went door knocking promoting my open houses.  I got some good leads and people were very friendly.   It was very encouraging.  Thanks for reminding us that real estate is about people too. 

Jun 05, 2009 11:29 PM
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